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You begin The Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires as a leader of a small band of settlers. Isolated from the rest of the world with virtually no knowledge of your surroundings, your immediate goal is to expand your territory, eventually form an empire and then ultimately, conquer the world. After building cities which become centers of production, trade and research, you then create armies that are used for exploration of the world around you. As you build your empire in the early stages of the game, contact with other civilizations is assured. Will it be warfare, alliance or indifference? The choice is up to you. In the latter stages of the game, you connect cities with trade routes and knowledge exchange, eventually reaching a point where the cities run themselves. At this point, your world domination phase kicks in and you attempt to conquer your opponents by establishing superiority in production, research, economics or diplomacy. Conquer all other empires and you win; if your armies are destroyed and your cities fall, then you're history. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide